Cyprus talks a calamity: Talat

Cyprus negotiators Kudret Ozersay and Andreas Mavroyiannis will meet again today following a two week break while both men made contacts abroad. Ozersay met with officials from the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow last week and Mavroyiannis was in New York meeting UN officials ten days ago.

However, as the vexed question of the return of Varosha continues to maintain its presence, ex-president Talat has declared the talks to be a “calamity”.

Speaking on Bayrak Radio at the weekend, Talat said that the two Cypriot presidents will never come together and that the status of the negotiations has dropped because the talks are being led by two representatives. He added that because Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozersay was travelling around the world making contacts, he appeared to be acting as president. This, said Talat is a flawed approach.

He also noted that it was not known what convergences had been reached in the talks and therefore concluded that, in fact, there were no convergences.

“With the way it is going, forget about this June it won’t even be concluded by June ten years from now”, said Talat.

Meanwhile, President Anastasiades continues his bid for the return of Varosha. He took the opportunity to discuss the subject with Stefan Fule who is on a two day visit to the island and will be attending the inauguration ceremony of the bi-communal waste water plant in Haspolat, Nicosia. Fule made no comment about their discussions.

In response to the proposal of returning Varosha to the Greek Cypriots as a confidence building measure, President Eroglu has said that President Anastasiades talks of nothing else but when he (Eroglu) brings up direct trade between the EU and the North as a confidence building measure, “the Greek Cypriots say this will happen after a comprehensive settlement, so why can the same not apply to Varosha?” he asked. “These are issues that will be resolved at the negotiating table. The Cyprus problem cannot be solved only with confidence building measures.” However, the waters appear to be somewhat muddied since chief negotiator Ozersay has said that the proposal could be put on the table but Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami says that it can only come as part of a comprehensive solution.

President Anastasiades will be bringing the subject of Varosha to the table yet again in his talks with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

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